Service: Sales Performance—Custom Training
Microsoft released its new cloud-computing offering, Windows Azure™ Platform, in the second calendar quarter of 2010. With ambitious adoption and revenue goals the Windows Azure™ marketing team needed to equip sales channels with knowledge such as product features and benefits, positioning and messaging, competitive analysis, sales strategy, field tactics, opportunity identification and qualification, etc. (Microsoft refers to this knowledge as “sales readiness”).
To address the sales readiness needs the Windows Azure™ marketing team conceived and funded an instructor-led sales readiness program called Windows Azure Platform University, which would include training events in 15 cities around the world. While Microsoft had already engaged vendors to develop readiness content and handle event logistics, the Windows Azure Platform University program itself had not been resourced.
Microsoft engaged consulting company, Chrysalis BTS, to take overall responsibility for Windows Azure Platform University and coordinate activities across the various vendors. Chrysalis BTS then engaged Change Leadership Group to assemble the field sales training content and deliver it in 9 cities, including Sydney, Singapore, London, Amsterdam, Munich, Warsaw, Atlanta, Toronto, and San Francisco.
Approximately 850 Microsoft salespeople, system integrators, and independent software vendors were initially trained using the Windows Azure Platform University sales training content assembled by Change Leadership Group. The content was well-received, garnering comments on evaluation forms such as this one from the Sydney event: “Very happy with the course content—maybe spread course over 2 days.” Local marketers in the various countries have already begun to use the training materials and will redeliver it to hundreds more salespeople, system integrators and independent software vendors over the next six months. For example, the Netherlands team has redelivered it three times—and counting. In addition, the course sessions will be recorded and delivered as downloadable videos, which will reach thousands more Microsoft salespeople.
Brett Clay, founder and CEO of Change Leadership Group, personally delivered many of the training sessions in the nine cities assigned to Change Leadership Group. As he delivered the sessions, Brett was careful to implement professional training techniques recommended by the American Society of Training and Development that engage the audience and improve learning outcomes. The results were comments such as, “I was really excited about the way [Brett] had us engaged…A lot of times you go to these sessions and you sit around all day long and you get very bored. But, with Brett it was exciting the whole time, we all stayed involved, and I’d love to be able to attend another one of his sessions.” (Brian Metz)
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For more information about Change Leadership Group’s sales training offerings, click here.
For more information about Windows Azure™ Platform, the leading cloud-computing platform for developing and operating custom software applications, click here.